Yoram Hazony (born 6th of June 1964 in Rehovot) is an Israeli Orthodox Jew, philosopher, Talmudic scholar, and political theorist. He is president of the Herzl Institute in Jerusalem and serves as the chairman of the Edmund Burke Foundation.
The Jewish State: The Struggle for Israel's Soul (2000) edit
- Thus, the Jewish empowerment entailed in creating a Jewish state was not merely a matter of guaranteeing external, physical security of the Jews. Ultimately, its aim is to provide an internal security of the soul, which is the indispensable precondition for the emergence of a noble, uniquely Jewish character and civilization.
The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture (2012) edit
- Proverbs is in many respects a work on ethics, presenting arguments concerning the manner in which moral precepts relate to life and the good; Job investigates the reasons good individuals (and, by implication, good nations) should suffer catastrophe; Esther seeks an account of how God’s will works in political circumstances in which one sees nothing but the decisions and deeds of human actors; and so forth.
- The fact is that man’s mind is limited, and his understanding only partial. The biblical narrative makes this point unequivocally with respect to Moses, in reporting that he could not see God’s face, but only his back. And it was no less true of the other prophets of Israel, who saw things in different ways because each of them was limited in his understanding, and to his own point of vantage.
- If the relationship between man and God were supposed to consist of man’s acceptance of a paragraph of propositions that “raises among ourselves no other questions,” there would be no sense at all in God’s promising that if man inquires and seeks, he will be told “great things” that had until now been hidden.
- The purpose of the biblical editors, in gathering together such diverse and often sharply conflicting texts, was not to construct a unitary work with an unequivocal message. It was rather to assemble a work capable of capturing and reflecting a given tradition of inquiry so readers could strive to understand the various perspectives embraced by this tradition, and in so doing build up an understanding of their own.
- Suffice it to say that the God of Israel loves those who disobey for the sake of what is right, and is capable of being pleased when a man has used his freedom to wrestle with him and to prevail, so long as the path on behalf of which he struggles ultimately proves to be the right one in God’s eyes.
The Virtue of Nationalism (2018) edit
- Either you support, in principle, the ideal of an international government or regime that imposes its will on subject nations when its officials regard this as necessary; or you believe that nations should be free to set their own course in the absence of such an international government or regime.
- The nationalism I grew up with is a principled standpoint that regards the world as governed best when nations are able to chart their own independent course, cultivating their own traditions and pursuing their own interests without interference. This is opposed to imperialism, which seeks to bring peace and prosperity to the world by uniting mankind, as much as possible, under a single political regime.
- Progressives regarded Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points and the Atlantic Charter of Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill as beacons of hope for mankind—and this precisely because they were considered expressions of nationalism, promising national independence and self-determination to enslaved peoples around the world. Conservatives from Teddy Roosevelt to Dwight Eisenhower likewise spoke of nationalism as a positive good, and in their day Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were welcomed by conservatives for the “new nationalism” they brought to political life. In other lands, statesmen from Mahatma Gandhi to David Ben-Gurion led nationalist political movements that won widespread admiration and esteem as they steered their peoples to freedom.
- An order of independent nations would permit diverse forms of self-government, religion, and culture in a “world of experiments” that would benefit all mankind.
- The new world they envision is one in which liberal theories of the rule of law, the market economy, and individual rights—all of which evolved in the domestic context of national states such as Britain, the Netherlands, and America—are regarded as universal truths and considered the appropriate basis for an international regime that will make the independence of the national state unnecessary.
- This same conviction that one has grasped the ultimate political truth and that all must now accept it likewise characterized Lenin’s thought and Soviet imperialism during its entire seventy-year course. And it appears again in our own time in the doctrines of European Union, which finds no satisfaction in the rule of one nation, but seeks constantly to impose an ever-greater uniformity on all nations in accordance with the political truths its bureaucrats regard as universally evident.
- British and American concepts of individual liberty are not universals that can be immediately understood and desired by everyone, as is often claimed. They are themselves the cultural inheritance of certain tribes and nations.
- The socialist has always believed that the necessary knowledge is at hand, so there is no need for competition in the marketplace. The economy needs only to be directed by a rational planner who will dictate the transactions that are to proceed for everyone’s benefit. The capitalist, on the other hand, has understood this proposal to be nothing but a conceit, a product of human arrogance and folly—because in reality there is no human being, and no group of human beings, that possesses the necessary powers of reason and the necessary knowledge to correctly dictate how an entire economy should proceed for everyone’s benefit. Instead, the capitalist argues, from a skeptical and empirical point of view, that we should permit many independent economic actors and allow them freely to compete in developing and providing economic products and services. It is understood that because each of these competing business enterprises pursues a different set of aims, and is organized in a manner that is different from the others, some will succeed and some will fail. But those that succeed will do so in ways that no rational planner could have predicted in advance, and their discoveries will then be available for the imitation and refinement of others. In this way, the economy as a whole flourishes from this competition.
Conservatism: A Rediscovery (2022) edit
- Enlightenment rationalism, to the extent that its program is taken seriously, is an engine of perpetual revolution, which brings about the progressive destruction of every inherited institution, yet without ever being able to consolidate a stable consensus around any new ones.
- p. 147
- Philosophers often make the mistake of supposing that a subject is worthy of study only if it is found always and everywhere. But many of the most profound and important things are not found everywhere. This is because artifice, which is the alteration of untamed nature, is itself a part of man's nature.
- p. 189
- Hobbes, Locke, Spinoza, and Kant never had children. Descartes's only daughter, born outside of marriage, died at the age of five. Rousseau had five children with a mistress but abandoned them all to an orphanage in infancy. In other words, Enlightenment rationalism was the construction of men who had no real experience of family life or what it takes to make it work. Enlightenment liberal political theory, which resolves around the free individual who accepts only those obligations to which he consents, was invented by men who did live in more or less this way. It is a political theory made in the image of unmarried, childless individuals, and the more people repeat its tenets, the more they act like unmarried, childless individuals.
- p. 385
- Political conservatism cannot be separated from personal conservatism. Dissolute individuals, those who are incapable of preserving and restoring traditional norms in their own lives, are not a material out of which cohesive and enduring families can be built. No tribe or nation can persist if its sons and daughters are not zealous to preserve their inheritance intact and to restore it when it has decayed or been forgotten.
- p. 391
- Conservatism begins at home.
- p. 394 (final words)
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